Fix ‘bootrec fixboot access denied’ error on Windows 10 / 11 [2023]

bootrec fixboot access denied' error

Introduction

True story: I just managed to fix this issue for a business client of mine today! Thought I’d write about my experience – what’s better to do on a Friday night? 😉

Have you ever encountered the dreaded “bootrec fixboot access denied” error while trying to fix Windows 10 boot issues?

This annoying problem can bring your system to a grinding halt, but fear not – we’re here to help! In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll explore the root causes of this error and provide step-by-step instructions on various methods to effectively solve it.

Understanding The Cause Of The Error

1. Corrupted Boot Files

One common reason for encountering the error is corrupted boot files on your system. 

Corrupted boot files usually occur when there’s damage or unexpected changes in the critical data required for your computer to start up properly.

For example, imagine you’ve just installed an important update on your Windows 10 or 11 operating system but experienced a sudden power outage during the update process.

As a result, some of the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) files might have become damaged or lost entirely, leading to system startup failures and boot errors.

2. Incorrect BIOS Settings

One of our clients had this issue. His BIOS was set to boot as IDE instead of AHCI – when we changed it, voila – the system booted right away!

As a vital component of your computer, the BIOS manages hardware and initializes your operating system during startup.

For instance, imagine you’ve recently updated your computer’s motherboard firmware or made changes in the BIOS configuration but failed to save them properly. In such cases, this could compromise crucial settings that help establish a successful boot from your hard drive.

To correct these errors, take note of any recent modifications made within your BIOS settings and restore them to their original state – ensuring that drives are recognized accurately while maintaining an efficient boot order sequence throughout the process.

3. Malware Or Virus Attack

These malicious programs can damage essential system files, interfere with boot processes, and even target vital EFI structures, making it incredibly challenging to start your Windows 10 or 11 device.

To combat these threats and safeguard your system’s stability, make sure you have robust antivirus software installed and updated on your computer.

Regular security scans are crucial for detecting potential attacks early before they can wreak havoc on crucial functions like booting up.

Fixes For The ‘Bootrec Fixboot Access Denied’ Error on Windows 10 / 11

1. Disable Fast Boot In BIOS

Here are some steps for how to disable it:

  1. Restart your computer and enter the BIOS settings.
  2. Look for the Fast Boot option and disable it.
  3. Save changes and exit the BIOS settings menu.

Disabling Fast Boot can help resolve issues with booting up your system, as it ensures that all necessary checks are performed before Windows starts up.

This can prevent hardware detection or driver loading errors from occurring and improve overall system stability.

It’s important to note that disabling Fast Boot may cause your computer to start up slower than usual, but this trade-off is worth it if you want a more reliable system.

2. Try The CHKDSK Command

Here’s how:

  1. Insert your Windows installation disk or bootable media created with MiniTool Partition Wizard.
  2. Boot from the disk or USB flash drive.
  3. Click Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt to open it.
  4. Type “chkdsk c: /r /f” and press Enter (replace “c:” with your system drive letter).
  5. Wait for CHKDSK to detect and fix any errors on your hard drive.

Executing the CHKDSK command can help identify and repair damaged system files that cause boot failures.

3. Try Startup Repair On The MBR Disk

  1. Restart your computer and boot into the Windows Recovery Environment.
  2. Select “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced options” > “Startup Repair”.
  3. Wait for the diagnostic tool to scan your system and identify any issues.
  4. Follow the instructions provided by the tool to fix any identified issues.
  5. Restart your computer and check if the issue has been resolved.

Note that this solution works best for systems using MBR (Master Boot Record) disks, which are commonly used in older computers. If you have a UEFI-based computer or a GPT disk, this solution may not be effective.

4. Perform An Automatic Repair

Performan automatic repair from the Windows Recovery Environment can be a simple solution to fix it.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Shut down your PC and press the power button to start it.
  2. Keep pressing the F11 key until you see the Windows Recovery Environment screen.
  3. Click on Troubleshoot, then select Advanced options.
  4. Click on Automatic Repair and follow the on-screen instructions.

This will initiate the automatic repair process, which can help fix any issues with your boot files.

However, keep in mind that this solution may not work in all cases, and there is always a risk of potential data loss during any troubleshooting process.

As we always say to our clients – always back up your computer before making any efforts to fix them! 

5. Reconfigure The Boot Files / Directory

Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Boot your computer from a Windows installation media.
  2. Select the language and other preferences, then click “Next.”
  3. Click “Repair your computer” on the bottom left corner of the screen.
  4. Select “Troubleshoot”, then choose “Advanced options.”
  5. Click on the “Command Prompt” option.
  6. Type in “diskpart” and press Enter.
  7. Then type in “list disk” command and press Enter.
  8. Identify which disk number is assigned to your boot drive (it should be labeled “System” or something similar). Remember this number for future reference.
  9. Type in “select disk n” (replace n with your disk number) and press Enter.
  10. Type in the” list volume” command and note down the volume letter of your EFI partition (it should be around 100MB in size).
  11. Type in “select volume m” (replace m with your EFI partition’s volume letter) and press Enter.
  12. Type in ”assign letter b: ”, then exit DiskPart by typing “exit.”
  13. Navigate to b: \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\ using Command Prompt
  14. Type these commands one by one:
  • ren BCD BCD.bak
  • bcdboot C:\Windows /l en – us /s b: /f ALL
  • exit

6. Run The Bootrec /Fixboot Command Using An Installation Media ( Windows 10 / 11 iso )

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Create a Windows installation media with the latest version of Windows.
  2. Insert the installation media into your computer and boot from it.
  3. Select your language preferences and click Next.
  4. Click on Repair Your Computer in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  5. Select Troubleshoot from the list of options.
  6. Click on Advanced Options, then select Command Prompt.
  7. Type Bootrec /Fixboot and press Enter to execute the command.
  8. Restart your computer and check if the error is fixed.

Running Bootrec /Fixboot using an installation media can help repair any damaged boot files that might be causing this error, allowing you to successfully boot into Windows without any issues.

If that doesn’t help, move on to the next step.

7. Uncover The Hidden Boot Partition On Your Drive

A potential fix is to name the hidden boot partition on your drive. Here’s how:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Type “diskpart” and press Enter.
  3. Type “list disk” to show the disks on your system, then find the disk that contains the boot partition.
  4. Type “select disk X” (replace X with the number of your disk) and press Enter.
  5. Type “list partition” to show the partitions on the selected disk, and then select the boot partition (usually labeled “System Reserved”) by typing “select partition Y” (replace Y with the number of your boot partition).
  6. Type “assign letter=b” (or any other available letter) and press Enter.
  7. Close DiskPart by typing “exit”.
  8. In Command Prompt, type “bcdboot C:\Windows /s b:” (replace C with your Windows installation drive letter, if necessary) and press Enter.
  9. Restart your computer to see if this solution has fixed the error.

8. Rebuild The BCD

Worst-case scenario, you’ll need to get your technical gloves on as you may need to rebuild the BCD.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Boot your PC using an installation media and select Repair your Computer.
  2. Navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.
  3. Type the following commands in order: “bootrec /scanos”, “bootrec /fixmbr”, “bootrec /fixboot”, and “bootrec /rebuildbcd”.
  4. Press Enter after each command and wait for it to complete.
  5. When prompted with “Add installation to boot list?”, type Yes and press Enter.
  6. Restart your PC and check if the issue is resolved.

Note: Rebuilding BCD can potentially cause data loss, so make sure you have a backup of important files before proceeding with these steps.

9. Save Data And Reinstall

As a last resort, if none of the above solutions work for fixing errors, you may need to save your data and reinstall Windows. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Back up your important files and documents on an external drive or cloud storage service.
  2. Create a bootable USB or DVD with the latest version of Windows.
  3. Insert the installation media into your computer and restart it.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to boot from the installation media and successfully reinstall Windows while selecting “Custom Install.”
  5. Choose your hard drive or partition where you want to install Windows.
  6. Remember to format your selected partition before installing Windows on it.
  7. Once the installation is complete, configure your language, time zone, and keyboard settings.
  8. Install all necessary drivers for your hardware components and any required software programs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the “bootrec fixboot access denied” error can be frustrating and leave you feeling helpless.

However, there are several solutions to try, including performing an automatic repair, reconfiguring boot files using Command Prompt or installation media, rebuilding BCD with diskpart, or running CHKDSK.

If all else fails, data backup and a complete reinstallation of Windows 10 might be necessary.

Q: What is bootrec fixboot?

A: Bootrec fixboot is a command that is used to fix the boot sector of the disk and to make the system bootable again. This command is useful when the system fails to boot due to missing or corrupt boot files.

Q: What is disk 0 in the context of this error?

A: Disk 0 refers to the primary hard drive on which Windows is installed. This is the drive that contains the system partition and the boot sector, which are essential for booting the operating system.

Q: What is the boot sector?

A: The boot sector is a section of the disk that contains the code necessary to boot the operating system. It is located at the beginning of the disk and is essential for the system to load the operating system.

Q: What is the Windows recovery environment?

A: The Windows recovery environment is a special mode in which the operating system can be booted to troubleshoot and fix issues. It provides a range of tools for repairing the system, such as startup repair, system restore, and command prompt.

Q: What is the MBR?

A: The MBR, or Master Boot Record, is a special sector at the beginning of the disk that contains the partition table and the boot loader. It is essential for the system to boot properly and is frequently targeted by malware or corruption.

Q: Can I recover my data if I encounter the fixboot access is denied error?

A: It is possible to recover your data if you encounter the fixboot access is denied error. However, this depends on the cause of the error and the extent of the damage to the disk. It is recommended to back up your data regularly to avoid losing important files.

Q: What should I do if the fixboot access is denied error persists after troubleshooting.

A: If the fixboot access is denied error persists after troubleshooting, you may need to perform more advanced repairs or reinstall Windows.

If you aren’t confident about it, why not ring our PC repair geeks!

See also: Fix fltmgr.sys Blue Screen Error

Author:
I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...